Food and dancing part of plan to attract people to new Normanton group Association of Bengali Culture of Derby
DANCING and serving up different foods are among the ideas of a Normanton group to attract more people to its talks on health and religion.
Retired city doctor Prasanta Chakraborti is working with a team of young volunteers to create the community group – which will be open to people of all beliefs.
The 73-year-old said he wanted to create a "cultural showcase", which uses ethnic entertainment as a way of drawing people in.
Dr Chakraborti, of Littleover, said: "We want to put on sessions which focus on different aspects of life. These might include talks on organ transplants or on immigration.
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"They might also be on religious festivals and we might have lectures about different faiths.
"But our idea is that, when we hold each session, we will have dances, music and food from different cultures – for free – which will hopefully get more people to attend.
"That way, if people come for the entertainment, they might stay and learn something while they are there – and become involved in the community."
Dr Chakraborti said the group – called the Association of Bengali Culture of Derby, or ABCD – was formed by him and some former colleagues.
He said "There are young and old people, some are health professionals and some are retired – but all are volunteers.
"We have been given the use of the Hindu Temple, in Pear Tree Road, Normanton, but this does not mean these will be strictly religious or Hindu events.
"Instead, we are looking to get speakers in on different medical or social issues and look at different religious festivals along with that."
In 2010, Dr Chakraborti became the first person in the East Midlands to have a revolutionary new kidney transplant.
He received the organ from his wife, Alaka, even though their blood groups did not match.
He was able to do this because of the development of a new surgical technique.
In 2011, he published a book about his experiences – called The Man Who Refuses To Die.
Father-of-two Dr Chakraborti and his wife, who was also a GP, retired from the Family Medical Centre, in London Road, Alvaston, in 2005. They took it on in 1978, after one of the practice's partners died, and built it up from 2,000 patients to 5,000.
He said the group had not organised a regular meeting calendar yet and that it was still in the early stages of planning – with dates of events to be released in the near future.
Dr Chakraborti said: "It will be a self-sufficient group. We would have a donation box at events, so its success depends on how well-received it is and how many are willing to donate."